How MP100 Paces Character Development
from a storytelling standpoint we’ve gotten so used to seeing characters who have a set number of traits that they stick to. if the main character is an energetic boy who’s all about friendship he’s going to be happy, carefree, and protective of his friends no matter what the circumstances are. if the mentor figure is wise and eccentric they’ll have a few gimmicks to their personality, but when their student needs advice they’ll have just the words for them too regain motivation. stuff like this is going to be established in the beginning so that the readers have a foundation to chew on while future story beats reveal ‘true natures’ or ‘new environments’ to further develop those characters.
it’s easier to completely overturn character’s personalities in chunks because there are clear divides between ‘this is Bob before they were changed’ and ‘this is Bob after they were changed’. readers don’t get confused and/or disoriented by seemingly contradictory actions of characters, and the author can easily keep track of where their creations are in the narrative.
character development and personality establishment are not stagnant in real life, though. people aren’t magically changed in a day; it’s a slow, gradual process that takes time and effort. it’s the reason i love it when a bad guy slowly becomes good over a long, arduous process spanning over thirty episodes or two books.
look at mp100! mob is a kid characterized as motivated and determined to reach his goals, yet he is also constantly beaten down emotionally by the circumstances surrounding him. he’s someone who’s repressed his emotions but can be very expressive at the same time. reigen is a man introduced as a shady, ambiguously moral mentor figure who doesnt always have the answers for mob’s problems but manages to help his student keep his head over the water. ritsu loves his brother but he’s also jealous of his brother. teru’s changed from his selfishly-using-his-powers ways but that doesn’t mean his act is all cleaned up, he still does messed up things, but he can do good for others as well. so many times, the text tells us one thing when the character’s actions say another, but the audience is meant to know that both sides of the characters are equally present and valid. they’re almost constantly in an in-between between their ‘old’ selves and their ‘ideal’ selves.
call it ‘inconsistent’ if you want, i admit ONE never wrote his mp100 characters with every single nuance of their personalities in mind. but goddamn if he doesnt make them realistic and compelling.